ROCHESTER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The family of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died following an encounter with police in Rochester, says it plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Prude died back in March, but police body camera footage was just released showing a disturbing incident.
On the video, Rochester officers are seen and heard ordering a naked Prude to lie on the ground during the early hours of March 23.
“Get on the ground, get on the ground,” they are heard saying. “Chill out man. Don’t move. Alright man?”
“Yes sir,” Prude replies.
Police put the 41-year-old’s hands behind his back and handcuffed him.
Video shows Prude yelling and spitting. As he sits naked and handcuffed on the ground, police put a so-called “spit hood” on his head.
Later, an officer appears to push Prude’s head into the pavement.
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Prude stopped breathing, and EMTs performed CPR as he was taken to the hospital, where he was put on life support. He died seven days later.
The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint,” excited delirium and acute PCP intoxication, which could have explained the erratic behavior.
“This is a cold blooded, calculated murder,” said Prude’s brother, Joe. “You hear him? ‘Don’t kill me.’ That was the sign right there for you all to let up. What they did, they continue to apply pressure.”
On Thursday, Mayor Lovely Warren said seven officers involved have been suspended.
“What I saw in that video … a man who was in crisis,” Warren said. “Our response to him was wrong, and we need to change how we deal with these situations going forward.”
Joe Prude said he called the police to help his brother, who was mentally troubled, adding instead of assistance, the police took his brother’s life.
“Their duty to protect and serve, not to protect and kill,” he said.
Daniel Prude’s 18-year-old daughter Tashyra said the man on the video is not the father she knew, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.
“I knew him as a caring, energetic and happy-go-lucky man,” she said. “It’s devastating and it’s really taken a toll on me and my siblings because we have never seen our father in a situation that way.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for an expeditious investigation. State Attorney General Letitia James said her office is doing just that, adding, “The Prude family and the greater Rochester community deserve answers, and we will continue to work around the clock to provide them.”
Mayor Warren said because of Daniel Prude’s death she is asking for all body cam video of suspects who have died in police custody.
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